INCOMING - BA(Hons) Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition


As we look forward to the opening of the BA (Hons) Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition this Friday (22 May) – the first of UWTSD Swansea College of Art’s Virtual Summer Exhibitions - Donna Williams, Programme Manager, tells us about how the current Coronavirus context challenged the team of staff and students to think of a new way to celebrate their achievements and showcase their talents:

"As a team of lecturers on the Graphic Design Degree programme, the month of May is usually filled with preparation for the graduate exhibition. Traditionally a time of anticipation, excitement, sweat and determination, with the added exercise of climbing ladders, printing marathons and plenty of laughter. This is our collective resolution of an intense design challenge and an important start for new careers. We all love this time. It is exciting. It is rewarding. It is a celebration of what has been achieved but also of future aspirations.

Logo for Incoming, BA Graphics Design Exhibition

"Nobody could have predicted that within a 24 hour window, we had cancelled our New York trip, packed up our work, quickly gathered up prints from the letterpress room, switched off the Mac suite, emptied the fridge and moved out of our lovely studios.

Nobody could have anticipated the months of March to May to be a time of such shock, disbelief, sadness, disappointment, frustration, suffering and loss.

"This was not what we envisioned, but immediately necessitated a new vision. How can we achieve our goals in different ways?  Perhaps we could do things even better? Graphic Designers are natural problem solvers and never has a graduating class been required to prepare for their future with more purpose, vision, passion, energy and hope.

“Like many people, we have all been asked to step up in the midst of so much suffering. I want to express my pride in our students, who have all pulled together, creating a Virtual Third Year Room, supporting each other and being generous and mutually supportive.

"Linnette Cruz, a beautiful, kind mum of one of our third year students, lost her battle to COVID-19 on 14th April 2020. The students’ fundraising kitty for the original, physical INCOMING exhibition was switched over to helping the Cruz family and as a team of staff we were proud to witness this compassionate act”.

The INCOMING show has now been transferred to an online experience providing a wider opportunity to showcase the work across a world platform, for industry, employers, family and friends. The brand image of INCOMING was designed by Lois James and even though this was designed pre-lockdown, the moving image appears to capture the current mood and new opportunities of what is possible.

Bethany Curtis, a third year student commented that, “ Despite the lockdown, we have all continued on, the lecturers and the students ... apart but definitely together at heart.”

Chloe-Ann Willis also a third year student: “We as the class of 2020 have faced our fair share of ups and down, all of which have brought us closer together and made us a family. Now we are all stepping into the design world, we will continue to support each other throughout our lives. We have completed our Degree under extreme pressure, which has prepared us to take on whatever hardships we will face in our design careers. We are the class of 2020 and we are Incoming.”

The exhibition will showcase a variety of skills, from personal projects to industry ready design. You will see projects that range from informing us about the impact of Fibromyalgia, Brand Design for start-up businesses, Sustainable Design projects, Motion and Information Graphics. Check out the charming project that was a result of knitting to help with lockdown anxiety, but then developed into a Service Design for premature babies in a Birmingham hospital. Graphic Design is so much more than aesthetics.  It is about effective design that has the power to inform with clarity and create positive change.

We hope you all enjoy the quality and diversity of the projects and appreciate what it has taken for the students to achieve this exhibition. Wishing you all well as we continue to visualise and envision a new future while remembering that resilience is not something that we can just switch on and off, it is something that we notice at the end of something big and we all have it. Welcome to our INCOMING graduates show on 22.05.2020.

The student’s work will also be part of the main Swansea College of Art Virtual Summer exhibition in July.

photograph of BA Graphic Design Students for Incoming exhibition

Image taken earlier in the year of third year BA (Hons) Graphic Design students

Further Information

Donna Williams

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

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